I do not often post about my gaming habits. I do not play games as often as I used to, by any means. However, I do have a PlayStation 3 and found today’s story about leap year issues very interesting.
It seems that the PlayStation 3, the original – not the slim version, is programmed with an invalid leap year reference for 2010. Due to the fact the PS3 believes this year is a leap year, February is being considered to be over 28 days long in 2010. The PlayStation 3 does not quite understand this it seems and the problem is causing significant issues for many gamers. This leap year problem is causing games to crash (even single player games), connections to the PlayStation network to fail, Trophy information to become corrupted, dynamic themes to fail and the inability to launch certain games at all. Some users are also reporting a variety of error codes including error 8001050F.
It seems all these problems boil down to an issue within the original PlayStation 3’s firmware which is preventing many date and time related functions to fail. Luckily, the PlayStation 3’s system software update relies only upon an Internet connection and does not rely on a connection to the PlayStation network. Sony are apparently looking into the issues, and gamers are expecting a software patch within 24 hours.
There is a basic FAQ about this issue, as quoted below.
“Here’s what’s going on right now: something with the PS3’s internal clock has borked in some pre-slim models. This is not a PSN issue; it has to do with your PS3’s clock. This clock is NOT related to the OS clock. It seems to be a leap year bug. Setting your clock ahead will do nothing. All PS3s around the world were affected at the exact same time.
Does this affect me?
-If you have a Slim PS3, you’re good to go. Continue playing it as normal.
-If you have a “fat” PS3, you may be affected. Some fat PS3s have worked ok, but it seems a good majority have been bugged.
What does this bug mean?
-If affected, your date and time has been set to a random past date. This prevents you from signing into PSN, playing any PSN games, or using any DLC. Your trophies will also not display correctly or be able to sync.
How do I fix it?
-You can’t. Even if you don’t sign into PSN, it won’t help. This is a hardware issue.
So, what do I do?
-Wait 24 hours. Other products that have had similar bugs have corrected themselves after the “bugged” day. On Monday around 6pm central time, all PS3s will automatically correct themselves…maybe.
-If that doesn’t work, we’ll need a firmware update from Sony, which should be a pretty important priority for them right now.
Did I lose my data/themes/etc?
Your save data/games/dlc/themes are fine. They’ll be fixed when the PS3 is fixed. Trophies are uncertain right now, but they’ll be fine if you’ve synced them before the PS3 was bugged. Unsynced trophies are an unknown right now.
If I have a bugged PS3, can I still use it?
It’s probably not a good idea, as I have no idea what will happen to the trophies you earn during the bugged time. Movies/media will work fine.”
“The going theory is that the PS3 is storing some form of date in GMT, then modifying that to get whatever you see in the on-screen clock. That modification process seems to be fine–the system can take 2/28/2010, 9PM GMT, add four hours, and get 3/1/2010, 1AM random time zone.
What’s apparently effed, as speculation goes, is when the internal GMT-tracking rolls over to 3/1. It’s either not rolling, or rolling to 2/29, at which point a system tries to add/subtract from 2/29, which it can’t do because the front-end calendar doesn’t have a 2/29/2010, and shit explodes. Seemed to happen around 4PM PDT, which I think is 12AM GMT, so.
And the PS3 launched in 2006; it’s hit 4 2/28s so far. 2007 and 2009 were odd-numbered years; 2008 was an even, and a leap year. 2010 is the first even non-leap-year the system’s been around for. If some sort of base-level math is choking on itself, it may have ruled out the odd 2007 and 2009 successfully, but is convinced the even 2010 is a leap year (this part I’m less sure of, but is why leap year could theoretically come into play at some point.)”